Universal Fighting Game Guide: Option Selects

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Have you ever fought someone that seemed like they were psychic? Someone that seemed to have a counter for your next move the instant you did it? Some players may just have a read on you. Others might have been really good guessers. Or, in very specific circumstances, they may have leveraged an option select to improve their odds of success. In this edition of the Universal Fighting Game Guide, we talk about the concept of option selects. This is probably the most advanced concept in all of fighting games, though I’ll try my best to break it down and simplify things. Continue reading

Universal Fighting Game Guide: Gimmicky vs. Intelligent Tactics

Gimmicky fighting game techniques are about as old as fighting games themselves. When I first stepped up to a Street Fighter II machine back in 1991, the first character I ever chose was Blanka, as I thought I could cheat the system by simply mashing the punch buttons to trigger Blanka’s electricity move. At the time, I thought it was a fool-proof tactic…for about 5 seconds. Instead, the computer systematically picked me apart as I wailed on those punch buttons, thinking the electricity move was bound to save me eventually.

While gimmicks may have their place in extremely specific situations, they’re not a substitute for solid and intelligent play. In this month’s Universal Fighting Game Guide post, we’ll talk about the difference between gimmicky and intelligent tactics.

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Universal Fighting Game Guide: Meter Management


Back in the old days of fighting games, you only had to worry about one meter: the life meter. As long as that meter didn’t run out, you were golden. However, as the genre progressed, so to did the number of meters you were required to manage. Today, almost every fighting game has some sort of super/EX/resource meter that grants you additional moves at the cost of the resources in your meter. In this edition of the Universal Fighting Game Guide, we’re going to cover resource meters and how to leverage them to your advantage.

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Universal Fighting Game Guide: How to Read Frame Data

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(UPDATE: Part 2 of the frame data sub-series of posts is now live. Click here to learn more about frame advantage!)

When most people play fighting games, they don’t think about the underlying mechanics that drive the on-screen action. Odds are, all they care about is whether or not they’re beating their opponent to a pulp. That’s all well and good. However, competitive fighting game players will go to great lengths to find any sort of advantage on their opponents. This can include learning advanced combos, specific tactics, or as deep as understanding the raw mathematics that drives how a fighting game works.

Yes, I did say mathematics. You see, behind the action are a series of mathematical constants, variables and calculations that drive how everything works. Most people never think about this side of a fighting game (or any game for that matter), but the math is there, whether you actively recognize it or not.

In this entry into the Universal Fighting Game Guide, let’s take a high-level stab at talking about one element of the math that drives a fighting game, which is frame data. Certain off-the-shelf guides will contain frame data for your game of choice, though online sites will likely be your best bet to find this type of information. To the untrained eye, frame data charts look like rocket science. If you’ve never tried to read frame data (or have attempted it and failed), this crash course in the basics may help.

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The Team Mechanics of Street Fighter X Tekken

In the world of Street Fighter X Tekken, there old addage, “There is no ‘I’ in team,” couldn’t be more true. Your ability to manage both characters is one of the most important factors that will determine the outcome of your matches. If you’re just getting started up in the world of Street Fighter X Tekken and are looking for some tips to help tighten up your team, you’ve come to the right place. While the game is still early in its life cycle, most of these tips should stand the test of time.

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Universal Fighting Game Guide: The Don’ts (and Do’s) of Flowcharting

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Poor Ken Masters. As a character, his capabilities are fairly standard issue. However, the sight of Ken is enough to induce a groan from even the most casual Street Fighter fans. It has nothing to do with the character himself, but rather the player using him. There’s a good reason why the term “Flowchart Ken” exists.

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